My mom and I did two tours and one friend-visit while we were in Africa. The first tour, The Great Rift Valley, was a safari, and we camped outside many nights. Here's my mom and I at home in Pennsylvania, ready to set out:
So we'd stay up for a bit by the campfire, and retire to our pitch-black tent when the tour guides started mentioning lions and prepping their guns just in case. Then in the dark we'd lie, and talk until we wearied, and sleep until we woke. And it was still dark, so we'd talk some more.
In the unfathomable dark outside, we heard lions roar (which doesn't sound anything like the Metro-Goldwin-Mayer lion, whose roar is actually a tiger's snarl digitally enhanced, nowadays, with other big-cat sounds). Lions roaring sound like a deep "Oooooh! Oooooh!" overlaid by the sound a car makes when it putters out of gas. Here's a compilation of lions roaring at zoos. Now imagine that outside your tent! At some camps, the local Maasai would sit up all night at our camp, keeping the fire going to ward off animals.
Though the lions were loudest, it was the night that the elephants were near that caused the most concern. Elephants, like many herd or pack animals, will often send their young males away for being obstructive with the females, leading the young males to gang together in what our tour guides called the "Bachelor Clubs". (Lions have bachelor clubs, too.) Sometimes these bachelors were more aggressive than normal. The most dangerous scenario we encountered in Africa was unexpectedly finding our bus in the midst of a bunch of bachelor elephants, who were not happy about our presence and showed it by fake charging the bus and... having enormous erections. Dear me.
But I digress. Lions! Roaring in the night just past the light of our little fire!
I decide this Memories of Africa quilt needs a campfire. After all, it has a lion! And elephants! This Fireside Foundation Paper Piecing, made by PatternsbyShaley is available for purchase on Etsy. I printed the PDF for the 12" square, but at 88% to get closer to the 10.5" I need. It goes together perfectly, and is a nice change from the black-and-white which bored me making my zebra.
Foundation paper piecing is a method which demands that you "trust the process", because as the individual pieces come together, they look like nothing good, and it's hard to see whether the colors you've chosen work together. In the end though, I think it's almost perfect: I wish I had used the small-dot print for one section on the right, within the flames. But take a step back and let your eye see the picture as a whole, and it is a lovely fire!
This campfire represents the nights Mom and I spent camping, and all the talks we had in the dark.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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